James T. Randerson


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Burned Area and Carbon Emissions Across Northwestern Boreal North America from 2001–2019
Stefano Potter, S. Cooperdock, Sander Veraverbeke, Xanthe J. Walker, Michelle C. Mack, Scott J. Goetz, Jennifer L. Baltzer, L. L. Bourgeau-Chavez, Arden Burrell, Catherine M. Dieleman, Nancy H. F. French, Stijn Hantson, Elizabeth Hoy, Liza K. Jenkins, Jill F. Johnstone, Evan S. Kane, Susan M. Natali, James T. Randerson, M. R. Turetsky, Ellen Whitman, Elizabeth B. Wiggins, Brendan M. Rogers

Abstract. Fire is the dominant disturbance agent in Alaskan and Canadian boreal ecosystems and releases large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Burned area and carbon emissions have been increasing with climate change, which have the potential to alter the carbon balance and shift the region from a historic sink to a source. It is therefore critically important to track the spatiotemporal changes in burned area and fire carbon emissions over time. Here we developed a new burned area detection algorithm between 2001–2019 across Alaska and Canada at 500 meters (m) resolution that utilizes finer-scale 30 m Landsat imagery to account for land cover unsuitable for burning. This method strictly balances omission and commission errors at 500 m to derive accurate landscape- and regional-scale burned area estimates. Using this new burned area product, we developed statistical models to predict burn depth and carbon combustion for the same period within the NASA Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE) core and extended domain. Statistical models were constrained using a database of field observations across the domain and were related to a variety of response variables including remotely-sensed indicators of fire severity, fire weather indices, local climate, soils, and topographic indicators. The burn depth and aboveground combustion models performed best, with poorer performance for belowground combustion. We estimate 2.37 million hectares (Mha) burned annually between 2001–2019 over the ABoVE domain (2.87 Mha across all of Alaska and Canada), emitting 79.3 +/- 27.96 (+/- 1 standard deviation) Teragrams of carbon (C) per year, with a mean combustion rate of 3.13 +/- 1.17 kilograms C m-2. Mean combustion and burn depth displayed a general gradient of higher severity in the northwestern portion of the domain to lower severity in the south and east. We also found larger fire years and later season burning were generally associated with greater mean combustion. Our estimates are generally consistent with previous efforts to quantify burned area, fire carbon emissions, and their drivers in regions within boreal North America; however, we generally estimate higher burned area and carbon emissions due to our use of Landsat imagery, greater availability of field observations, and improvements in modeling. The burned area and combustion data sets described here (the ABoVE Fire Emissions Database, or ABoVE-FED) can be used for local to continental-scale applications of boreal fire science.


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The Community Land Model Version 5: Description of New Features, Benchmarking, and Impact of Forcing Uncertainty
David M. Lawrence, Rosie A. Fisher, Charles D. Koven, Keith W. Oleson, Sean Swenson, G. B. Bonan, Nathan Collier, Bardan Ghimire, Leo van Kampenhout, Daniel Kennedy, Erik Kluzek, Fang Li, Hongyi Li, Danica Lombardozzi, William J. Riley, William J. Sacks, Mingjie Shi, Mariana Vertenstein, William R. Wieder, Chonggang Xu, Ashehad A. Ali, Andrew M. Badger, Gautam Bisht, Michiel van den Broeke, Michael A. Brunke, Sean P. Burns, J. R. Buzan, Martyn P. Clark, Anthony P Craig, Kyla M. Dahlin, Beth Drewniak, Joshua B. Fisher, M. Flanner, A. M. Fox, Pierre Gentine, Forrest M. Hoffman, G. Keppel‐Aleks, R. G. Knox, Sanjiv Kumar, Jan T. M. Lenaerts, L. Ruby Leung, William H. Lipscomb, Yaqiong Lü, Ashutosh Pandey, Jon D. Pelletier, J. Perket, James T. Randerson, Daniel M. Ricciuto, Benjamin M. Sanderson, A. G. Slater, Z. M. Subin, Jinyun Tang, R. Quinn Thomas, Maria Val Martin, Xubin Zeng
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Volume 11, Issue 12

The Community Land Model (CLM) is the land component of the Community Earth System Model (CESM) and is used in several global and regional modeling systems. In this paper, we introduce model developments included in CLM version 5 (CLM5), which is the default land component for CESM2. We assess an ensemble of simulations, including prescribed and prognostic vegetation state, multiple forcing data sets, and CLM4, CLM4.5, and CLM5, against a range of metrics including from the International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMBv2) package. CLM5 includes new and updated processes and parameterizations: (1) dynamic land units, (2) updated parameterizations and structure for hydrology and snow (spatially explicit soil depth, dry surface layer, revised groundwater scheme, revised canopy interception and canopy snow processes, updated fresh snow density, simple firn model, and Model for Scale Adaptive River Transport), (3) plant hydraulics and hydraulic redistribution, (4) revised nitrogen cycling (flexible leaf stoichiometry, leaf N optimization for photosynthesis, and carbon costs for plant nitrogen uptake), (5) global crop model with six crop types and time‐evolving irrigated areas and fertilization rates, (6) updated urban building energy, (7) carbon isotopes, and (8) updated stomatal physiology. New optional features include demographically structured dynamic vegetation model (Functionally Assembled Terrestrial Ecosystem Simulator), ozone damage to plants, and fire trace gas emissions coupling to the atmosphere. Conclusive establishment of improvement or degradation of individual variables or metrics is challenged by forcing uncertainty, parametric uncertainty, and model structural complexity, but the multivariate metrics presented here suggest a general broad improvement from CLM4 to CLM5.